Rapid prototyping( RP) is generally understood to mean the fast and simple production of prototypes. This term not only refers to more or less complex mechanical or constructive models, but is also used in software engineering for the automatic generation of program codes.
In constructive engineering, prototypes are created prior to production. In contrast to classical prototyping, rapid prototyping works with 3D printers that are controlled by CAD files and can produce complex 3D models in a few hours, depending on the 3D printing technology.
All 3D printing processes create the 3D prototype from individual thin layers that are successively printed and glued or fused together. Rapid prototyping can be realized with all 3D printing processes. As there are: Selective Laser Sintering( SLS), Selective Laser Melting( SLM), Electron Beam Melting ( EBM), Fused Deposition Modeling( FDM), Stereolithography( STL) and Laminated Object Modeling( LOM).